) reached a new 52-week high of $96.77 on Feb 14, eclipsing its
previous high of $95.78. Its shares clocked $96.61 at the end of
the trading session on that day.
The lab chemical and life sciences company, which has a market
cap of roughly $11.5 billion, has seen its shares pop roughly 27%
over a year. Average volume of shares traded over the last three
months is around 597K.
What's Driving SIAL Up?
Shares of Sigma-Aldrich are screaming higher following its
healthy fourth-quarter 2013 results, reported on Feb 6. Both
revenues and adjusted earnings for the quarter beat Zacks
Consensus Estimates. Profit rose 13% year over year on record
sales. Sigma-Aldrich witnessed organic sales gain across all
business units in the quarter. The company sees improving trends
in several of its businesses in 2014.
Sigma-Aldrich, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, has racked up
positive earnings surprises in all four quarters of 2013 with an
average surprise of 2.23%.
Sigma-Aldrich's significant investments in sales, marketing
and R&D initiatives are generating demand for its products.
The company is seeking to take advantage of country-specific
opportunities by expanding its presence in high-growth emerging
markets. It is actively expanding its foothold in the
Asia-Pacific region, especially in the fast-growing emerging
markets of India and China.
The BioReliance acquisition, which extended Sigma-Aldrich's
reach into the promising new market of biologic drugs, should add
to its growth in 2014. The company has also taken up cost control
and plant process improvement measures and is effectively
managing its working capital, contributing to healthy free cash
Moreover, Sigma-Aldrich remains committed to offering returns
to its shareholders through cash dividends and share repurchases.
The company returned $249 million (51% of its net income) in 2013
to its shareholders in form of dividends and share buybacks and
recently raised its quarterly dividend by 7% to 23 cents per
That said, we account for persistent challenges in the
company's research business and currency headwinds.
Sigma-Aldrich's research business, especially with large
pharmaceutical companies, is expected to continue to face
challenges due to weak academic spending in the U.S. and Europe.
Uncertainty surrounding academic funding (in particular in the
U.S. due to sequestration) is expected to sustain through
Other Stocks to Consider
Other companies in the specialty chemical space with favorable
Zacks Rank include
Globe Specialty Metals, Inc.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.
) with all holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
GLOBE SPECIALTY (GSM): Free Stock Analysis
INTL F & F (IFF): Free Stock Analysis
NEWMARKET CORP (NEU): Free Stock Analysis
SIGMA ALDRICH (SIAL): Free Stock Analysis
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